This is a small project, but only because this is the proposed first stage of a much larger potential project. Cape Breton Highlands National Park has a very large planting opportunity in future years (hundreds of thousands of trees) thanks to their “Bring Back the Boreal” campaign. The planning for that larger opportunity will need to extend into 2024, but in the meantime, the Parks staff would like to partner on a small project to become better acquainted with our organizations, as a “foot in the door” leading up to the much larger opportunity.

This project aims to bring back two old “borrow pits” to a state resembling their original forest cover. The borrow pits are areas that were used as gravel sources during highway work on the world-renowned Cabot Trail. These two pits are currently quite rocky, and the Parks staff are working on a plan to bring topsoil and coarse woody debris into these areas (at the Park’s cost) to prepare for the planting of several thousand seedlings of mixed coniferous and deciduous species. Our proposal is to plant approximately 4200 seedlings of various species to remediate the areas.

Remediation of these areas, which were used to provide gravel during highway construction, will bring the areas back to their original forest state. The reclamation work will provide additional wildlife habitat for the mammals and birds that thrive in the area, and will eliminate an unsightly eyesore along the heavily trafficked Cabot Trail tourism highway.

Location: Approximately 10-12 minutes drive time west of Pleasant Bay, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Species: White spruce (Picea glauca), Black spruce (Picea mariana), White birch (Betula papyrifera), Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea), Mountain Ash (Sorbus americana)